As you learn about our programs, the first thing you will likely notice is that we do A LOT.
This is because like all communities, our has a lot of needs. And we understand that almost all of these needs are interconnected and that each one is equally as important as all of the others. Having a healthy life cannot be separated from having a safe and healthy home which cannot be separated from having a healthy environment, for example. Likewise, a family cannot be healthy if its children do not have access to a good education and a community cannot be healthy without individuals having access to a multitude of opportunities.
We have to do everything that we do because our community's needs are so underrepresented within the systemic structures of our society AND because meeting our community's needs requires a holistic approach. This also means that we are constantly moving and making adjustments in order to do our work. Our goal is to both remove barriers and provide opportunities. This requires innovative solutions and constant engagement with those that we serve.
The specifics of the programs that we offer may change as funding, community need and engagement, trends and public policies change, but the core focal points of what we do can be loosely separated into four categories: Housing, Family, Community and Development. But as stated above, so much of what we do is interconnected that our grouping of focal points actually looks more like a four-circled Venn diagram.
More detail about what we do and how we work is below.
Our Programs and Services:
Culturally Relevant Case Management
Counseling and Other Support Services
Land and Home Ownership
Positive Family Connections
Family Support Services
After School Programs
Every program that we create includes a community outreach component, usually in the form of Community Cafes, which is where we bring ideas to our community and give them an opportunity to learn and to provide us with feedback. These cafes also serve as a medium through which we can engage the community and get them excited about what we are working on. Most of our clients learn about us via word of mouth, making this type of outreach highly effective.
Each program that we offer also includes an educational component, in the form of a workshop, as well as personal, culturally-responsive case management.
A closer look at our programs:
We focus on Eviction Prevention,
which includes collaborating with local landlords and attorneys,
as well as hosting workshops to ensure that our community
members knows their rights.
We provide personal case management, meaning that we first attempt to mediate issues between our clients and their landlords, to solve problems at
a pre-legal stage. However, if further action is needed,
we will then partner with local housing agencies and/or
attorneys to find the solutions that
our community members need.
Our Chief Housing Manager, Aden Hussein, has been known among the Pacific Northwest African community as the go-to man for housing help for more than a decade.
He has spent years cultivating relationships with local landlords. Because of this, ACHD is directly connected to more than 45 local landlords and we even have our own Housing Hotline!
Tenants can call it if they are in need of assistance and landlords can call it if they have an empty space that they are looking to fill. Landlords know that if a tenant is referred by ACHD, that tenant will have our full support behind them, which will lessen the risk for both parties.
Our Grow Together Urban Farm is our food justice initiative aimed at teaching our youth how food is grown, with an emphasis on the importance of food access and healthy eating habits. Many in our community are at an increased risk of living in or near food deserts, making it difficult to learn how to make good food choices.
Participants in the Urban Farm will participate in monthly, hands-on workshops at our garden plot. They and other community members will also take fieldtrips with ACHD to other local farm sites to learn even more about our food system.
While young boys in our community are well represented among South King County sports leagues, our community's girls are not. This is because many African parents do not feel comfortable having their girls plays sports on co-ed teams and/or while wearing western attire. For this reason we created Girls Only sports activities, so that our girls can get out and move their bodies and learn new skills, while still respecting their cultural traditions and heritage.
Basketball and soccer
Dhaanto cultural dance
A prosperous community is ACHD's ultimate goal. Providing recreational activities that promote a healthy lifestyle while still being centered around our community's cultural norms is paramount to us achieving that goal. This includes activities that meed the needs of youth, families, individuals and seniors. We currently offer the following programs:
Through Positive Senior Connections we encourage the elders in our community to adopt an Active Living Every Day mindset.
This program is sponsored by King County and is aimed at encouraging behavioral change at the individual level, that when undertaken collectively will shift the health and wellbeing of the entire community.
This program also serves as a community bonding experience, as our elders will learn about healthy habits together and be able to encourage and inspire one another to set and achieve their own goals.
We use this opportunity to educate them about the importance of evidence-based heathy lifestyle choices that includes both physical activity and good nutritional choices to aid in disease prevention.
ACHD also maintains a Basic Needs Program where we use our connections to source essential household items and supplies like food, clothing, furniture, school supplies, winter coats, diapers, and everyday products like soap, shampoo and cleaning products for families who are living on the economic edge.
ACHD's work started with housing and it is still our largest area of focus.
In 2019, we placed 178 housing insecure families into stable homes!
These were people who were homeless, on the verge of homelessness
or who were living in substandard housing.
School Enrollment - Coming soon!
After School Programs
aimed at strenghthening student learning
Positive Family Connections is a series of workshops for African descent parents and youth to participate in building a healthy. The topics of these workshops include nurture and attachment, parental knowledge, youth development, parental resilience, social connections and youth emotional health.
ACHD will then judge the success of this program through surveys and assessments conducted after each session and at the end of the program.
This program also includes a series of Community Cafes where participants will learn from and teach each other through testimonials and participant-led discussions.
Land and Home Ownership
Economic development now